there is just something about warm bread: whether it be a fresh baguette from your favorite french patisserie, a roll smothered in jam still warm from the oven, a bread bowl filled with creamy chicken soup from le bou, or a slice of a homemade loaf with a crunchy crust and a soft center. it is comforting, it is delicious, it fills you up, and not just your stomach. warm bread can truly warm your soul.
for some reason or another making bread has always seemed intimidating, so after 21 years of helping mom in the kitchen and being off on my own in my own kitchen i had never taken the chance. then i got married and suddenly the apron hanging on the hook and the flour sitting unopened on the self began calling to me. calling in a "come put me on and turn me into bread" sort of way. the newfound duty of true "homemaker" had kicked in. i couldn't resist.
my roommate last semester, rebecca, was a breadmaker. she produced two recipes: her "fool proof easy bread recipe"and a delectable, "more difficult" honey oat loaf. as a first timer myself, it would have probably been smart to take that "fool proof easy" route, but where is the fun in life without a challenge? i decided to take the plunge and go all out, i asked for her honey oat recipe, put that apron on, and got to work.
and it did, it did! not once, but twice. i folded into my very first loaf and watched it double yet again. then as honey-delicious smells wafted from the oven i felt a sort of joy that only a first loaf of bread can bring. the yeast doubled my bread, and then doubled my joy as i pulled out a perfectly crusty and golden loaf from my very own oven. perhaps it is silly to find such happiness in bread, but it was a long-awaited goal finally accomplished, and not only that it was a great success. the center was soft and thick, the crust had perfect crunch, the sweet honey flavor lingered on the tongue.
though the bread may be no longer, the feelings remain. now i have the newfound courage that i can make bread, delicious bread, filling bread, soul warming bread, with my own two hands. and it feels good.